A thesis needs to be a cohesive statement which is easily supported or disconfirmed by evidence. I saw nothing of the sort given in the CNN video.
A political thesis, or a set of points one is addressing, conditions one is calling attention to because wishing to change them, isn't the same kind of beast as a statement in natural sciences. If you state that "neutron stars evolve from supernovas" or "crossings between horse and donkey are not fertile in themselves" those can be checked against raw facts and experiments, and often you can point to some condition that, if it were shown to exist, would falsify the statement (yes I've read Popper too). But statements on what is the right thing to do, or what the problem is in a political or moral context, don't work like that. Not fully, anyway.
In what way was it possible in 1850 to "prove" that slavery was unjust? In 1960 to "demonstrate" empirically and objectively that blacks were being deprived of their rights in the south? The official line was that they were living under a system that would have been perfectly okay, only it kept them separate, and anyway you could point to how the brighter blacks were migrating north and helping themselves to success (who needs "civil rights" when the blacks are making top dollar at Motown anyway?) Separation/segregation in itself would not have been seen as an indisputable issue that had to be addressed if you'd have asked some southern judge or senator - or many ordinary citizens - in 1960.
I guess what I object to most about the OWS is that the original organizers of this movement believe we live in a corporatocracy and that Democracy is fundamentally fractured and subverted in this country. That's a deeply cynical view that ignores the role that the American people have played in getting us here. We relected Reagan and George W. Bush for god's sake.
And if we do live in a nation where Democracy is dead and Corporate Interests rule, what can you possibly hope to achieve by protesting? Wouldn't the truth of their own ideology invalidate their efforts?
I think the trouble here is that democracy - the formal framework, as in equal and free right to vote for all citizens, free and nonpartisan courts, a legislative body chosen by the people etc - doesn't in itself
- inevitably, no matter what the rest of the machine looks like - add up to real influence, to people having a say in their own lives and being able to take charge of their living, their town, the policies, wars, laws and taxes of their country. And if a large part of the people don't have anything like the influence they should have as citizens (and feel they can get nowhere, to boot, because there are no decent jobs), then democracy starts to rot, no matter how good the elections and intentions look.
It's perfectly possible to have a country that's formally democratic, where business is largely free and the information is flowing around in a way that looks free enough, but where vital things are most often essentially decided in corporate and government office backrooms long before they're actually put to any kind of vote - and where key decisions are kept away from any vote or any open scrutiny at all. When the power - the real
power, not the voting power - is so unevenly distributed that it effectively undoes any access for free reshuffling of the issues, for citizen control, for real "access to the American dream" or similar ideas of personal success, democracy becomes more or less an empty, blank front. Decisions are not transparent and people begin to grow deeply cynical about society, or just turn away from the public space.
Want an example? Italy - Berlusconi would have been unthinkable without that kind of grinding down of transparency and of local self-control, glossed over by a barrage of entertainment provided by his tv channels and a blatantly clientelist society. Many Italians despise him, but the reason he came to power around 1990 was that the politicians that were around back then were seen as a bunch of useless and corrupt slackers (as they largely were). And the reason he has stayed in control is roughly that he has a paw on some key media and business conglomerates in a way that allows him to plainly block public debate.
"One man, one vote" as a base for popular control and governance isn't automatically true just because you have a formal democracy. If corporations are effectively able to buy laws, senators or secret deals favourable to them, and to avoid scrutiny, then the lifeblood of democracy is being put out of function.